Harris Jayaraj was born into a middle class Tamil Christian Nadar family. He studied at Krishnaswamy Matric School, K. K. Nagar. His father, S. M. Jayakumar, was a noted film guitarist and an assistant to Malayalam music director Shyam and later became a noted musician and film composer. At age six, Harris began his formal training in carnatic music. His father wanted him to become a guitarist and made him learn classical guitar from Mr.A.Abdul Sattar. He scored the highest mark in Asia on his 4th grade exam of Trinity College of Music, London. He started his music career as a guitarist in 1987 at age twelve. He then started programming with his Roland MC-500 and went on to work as a programmer under more than twenty five music directors in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam, working in more than 600 projects till the year 2000. He ventured into film scoring with Gautham Menon's Minnale, the album was well received. His Minnale score was later used in the Hindi version, titled Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein also directed by Gautham Menon. He then worked in Lesa Lesa directed by Priyadarshan. Harris made his debut in Tollywood with Vasu. He once again paired up with director Jeeva on Ullam Ketkumae after 12B. Director S. Shankar, noted leading director of Tamil cinema, paired up with Harris in his magnum opus Anniyan. The next film he scored was Ghajini directed by AR Murugadoss. Harris crafted a necessary classiness into Gautham Menon's blockbuster crime thriller Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu starring Kamal Haasan. He once again ventured into Tollywood with a successful album Sainikudu. Harris' collaboration with Jeeva continued with Unnale Unnale. After a hiatus of 6 years, Harris collaborated with Gautham Vasudev Menon for the action cop film Yennai Arindhaal. He composed music for various television commercials including a Coca-Cola commercial featuring Vijay. In 2008, he composed for Herova? Zerova? ad campaign which Suriya initiated under the Agaram Foundation.Harris is married to Suma, the couple have a son named Samuel Nicholas and a daughter named Keren Nikita. Harris prefers to work in his studio known as Trinity Studios which he has established in his own residence.